How long does home-canned food last?

Two years is the rule of thumb, assuming the jars stay in good shape and have been stored properly. By that I mean in a relatively cool and especially dark spot away from direct sunlight. When I canned in my apartment back home in Chicago (it contained a gloriously outdated white enamel stove from the 40’s…the thing felt like it was six feet wide…terrible for baking, fantastic for canning) I stored the goods on the floor in the back of a closet. However basements and cellars, as our ancestors well knew, are best.

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